Circuit Court Clerks
The Circuit Court Clerks of Kentucky are action-oriented public servants going above and beyond.
Kentucky’s Circuit Court Clerks are responsible for handling the records of Circuit and District courts including recording & providing legal documents, maintaining the jury system, administering oaths, handling affidavits, receiving money due to the court, and paying money to required parties. In addition to these essential duties, the Circuit Clerks of Kentucky also issued driver licenses and state ID cards until 2020. There is 1 Circuit Court Clerk in each of Kentucky’s 120 counties, and they are elected for six-year terms.
For more than 50 years, their offices asked those very important questions for our mission, “Would you like to help save lives by registering as an organ donor and would you like to donate financially to the Organ Donor education program?” Although today the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet asks those questions, the Circuit Clerks remain committed to this mission.
In 1992, the Circuit Court Clerk in Clark Co., Mr. Arthur Walson, tragically lost a cousin waiting for a heart transplant. Mr. Walson and his fellow Circuit Court Clerks vowed to do something about the need for more organ donors in the hope that no one else would lose a parent, spouse, child, or friend awaiting a transplant.
In 1992, the Kentucky Association of Circuit Court Clerks (KACCC) created the Trust For Life. The Circuit Clerks supported a law that gave every Kentuckian obtaining a driver’s license or state ID an opportunity to donate $1 to promote organ donation. This was the first program of its kind in the United States. These dollars are put into a trust, and it is called their Trust For Life.
In 2006, the Clerks worked with other agencies to establish the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry. This is a secure database of people who wish to donate their organs & tissues to help others after they die. Until 2020, the Circuit Clerks asked customers obtaining a license or ID to add their name to the KY Organ Donor Registry. Today this generous ask is completed by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet through Regional Driver’s License locations.
With the funds raised, dollar by dollar from the Circuit Clerks and willing residents of Kentucky, the Trust educates Kentucky through state-wide advertising and public awareness initiatives. These programs work to dispel myths and teach the crucial need for everyone to join the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry to save lives. With approximately 104,000 Americans waiting for life-saving organ transplants, the need is greater than ever. Many Circuit Clerks participate in health fairs, festivals, and school & civic speaking events to raise awareness in their community. Since 1992, more than $15 million has been spent on educating Kentucky about this lifesaving mission.
Today, more than 2 million Kentuckians have joined the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry when obtaining a license or state ID! The KY Circuit Court Clerks add over 90% of the names to the Registry. Kentucky is fortunate to have such a generous association of Circuit Court Clerks who are committed to making a difference in our Commonwealth.
Thank you to the Circuit Court Clerks of Kentucky and their hardworking staff for helping to save lives!
Find Your Circuit Clerk
There are 120 Circuit Court Clerks in Kentucky. To find your county’s Circuit clerk, click here.